Task force for high-risk trees to be set up, says Dr Zaliha

A TASK force will be set up to look into high-risk trees in Kuala Lumpur, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

“I have asked Kuala Lumpur City Hall to set up the task force and we will call upon stakeholders like non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and arborists to assist.

“I was also told to include the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) in the task force during the recent cabinet meeting as they are the experts in this area.

“We will also look into the various effective systems adopted by other countries in sustaining city trees,” she told reporters during a special briefing of the Bohol retention pond at the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau in Jalan Tangsi, Kuala Lumpur.

As for long-term measures, Dr Zaliha said the task force will look into everything, including the suitability of the tree species, the distance between the trees planted and the area needed for trees to grow healthily.

“Since 2019, the trees have been inspected every two years.

“But due to climate change, the trees will be monitored more frequently,” she said.

Following last week’s incident when a tree on Jalan Sultan Ismail fell, killing a motorist, Kuala Lumpur residents and NGOs have pleaded for City Hall to look into the issue of trees falling in the city.

During Monday’s (May 13) thunderstorm, a Ficus tree fell near Menara Prestige in Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur, damaging parked cars and motorcycles.

Storms also uprooted trees that damaged the roof of a house in Taman Gembira in one incident and a car at Universiti Malaya in another.

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